Monica Murphy, Sarah Robinson’s blistering-hot series debut introduces the
Kavanagh brothers—mixed martial arts fighters who work hard, play hard, and
love with all their hearts.
family’s gym, Legends, MMA star Rory Kavanagh is used to being in the
spotlight—until a gruesome leg injury knocks him out of the cage. Rory is left
feeling sidelined in more ways than one, battling the inner demons that come
with losing the one shot at his dreams. Then Clare walks into his life and
gives him a new dream: winning her heart. There aren’t many new faces in
Woodlawn these days, but this tough, beautiful stranger makes Rory want to get
his life back into fighting shape.
able to tell anyone what really brought her to the close-knit Bronx
neighborhood where she just started bartending. But her life’s on pause and her
past is catching up fast, try as she might to move on—with new friends, steady
work, and a chiseled alpha male trying to get her attention. Even though Rory’s
more than a little intense, she can’t deny that her heart beats faster when he
looks at her with those soulful silver eyes. Clare thought she was done with
love, but Rory might just be man enough to show her she thought wrong.
The crowd roared around him as the bell sounded, vibrating through his entire body. Rory Kavanagh immediately moved into position, his head low and his fists in front of his face. His arms were tucked in, shielding his body as he advanced on his opponent. This was it. A lifetime of practice, sparring, training: It was all for this moment.
It was all for this fight.
He was bigger than his opponent; this would be a simple win. He had the strength, he had the power. He towered over him by several inches, his shoulders broader, and his muscles thicker. This fight was in the bag. His opponent was moving fast, but Rory practically danced around his attack. He rained down jab after jab, his opponent staggering backward with a bloody lip. The bell sounded and both men retreated to their respective corners.
“Water,” Rory grunted, leaning against the cage side as his father handed him a water bottle, his brothers eagerly watching from outside the cage. He dumped a mouthful of water onto his tongue before swirling it around and spitting it out into a nearby bucket.
“You’re doing great, Rory, but remember technique. You’re too heavy-handed on power, and you’re not focusing on skills. That’s how fighters get hurt.”
“I’m fine. This is in the bag.” Rory tossed the bottle at him, strutting back toward the center of the ring as the ref began announcing the start of the second round.
“Fight!” The ref backed up quickly as the men converged on each other. Rory landed the first hook, blocking the return.
And that’s when it happened.
He blinked in surprise as blinding pain coursed through him. He looked down for a second, just a second, and it was over. Rory hadn’t even seen it happen; his opponent had been too fast. He looked down at his leg, but it was entirely twisted at the knee and bent the wrong direction. Bones were protruding and blood trickled morbidly down his calf. Searing pain inexplicably mixed with tingling numbness shot through his body in pulsing currents as he wavered.
Then all he saw was black. He felt the cage floor hit the back of his head as he went down hard. He heard the screaming from audience members, his family included. The ref’s whistle was blaring and medics were asking if he was okay.
Rory said nothing and gave into the black.
Rory Kavanaugh is a boxer from WoodLawn; he’s cocky and needs a change of attitude. Clare Ivers is an orphan looking for love and finding pain instead. They meet and begin changing each other. Rory comes from a famous and large Irish family which appeals to Clare; she finds happiness among them. A bump in the road could mean the end to whatever it is they share. Will they make it?
I enjoyed this story. It was a feel-good story, something that I like to read in between my ‘monster’ stories. The story of the two main characters was great; made me laugh, cry and cheer. The characters are real as you read and want to read more of them. I did find the storyline a bit simple, but I liked it just the same; would recommend this book.
author of The Photographer Trilogy and the Sand & Clay rock star series. A
native of Washington, D.C., Robinson has both her bachelor’s and master’s
degrees in criminal psychology. She is married to a local police officer who is
just as much of an animal rescue enthusiast as she is. Together, they own a zoo
of rescue and foster animals.